CaliBurger Flippy robot

March 2018
Updated: January 2022

USA Today reports that a robot burger-flipper at Caliburger, Pasadena, has been put on extended leave after working only a single shift due to a surge of orders after its introduction.

Having made a big noise about its Flippy robot that it described as 'the future of food', manufacturer Miso Robotics had to pull its technology after it quickly exceeded its 2,000-burger-a-day capacity.

According to CaliBurger CTO Anthony Lomelino, 'human staff' were part of the problem. 'Working with people, you talk to each other. With Flippy, you kind of need to work around his schedule' he says.

The incident stimulated discussion about the purpose of robots and their impact on jobs, with some commentators reckoning many jobs will disappear, and income equalities widen.

Miso Robotics insists food service robots help rather than replace fast food workers. Flippy's replacement robot Flippy 2 is marketed as 'flexible and modular to meet any kitchen's needs'. Flippy 2 costs a minimum USD 3,000 a month.

Operator: Cali Group
Developer: Miso Robotics
Country: USA
Sector: Travel/hospitality
Purpose: Flip burgers
Technology: Robotics
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Employment - jobs
Opacity: Purpose